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Marlins’ Miceli Made Up Knife Story

February 23, 2000

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) _ To explain stitches on his pitching hand and elbow, Florida Marlins reliever Dan Miceli told his new team, his agent and reporters the same story.

It wasn’t true.

When Miceli arrived for spring training Monday, he had five stitches in his right hand and two in his right elbow. He explained that he was hurt Thursday when a barroom dispute concerning his wife escalated into an exchange of punches before someone pulled a knife on him.

But police in Winter Springs, where Miceli lives, say he hurt himself in a predawn fight Friday with his brother, Richard, 31, who was charged with battery domestic violence, a misdemeanor. Dan Miceli, 29, wasn’t charged.

When confronted Tuesday about the conflicting stories, Miceli admitted that he misled the Marlins.

``I apologize to everybody,″ Miceli said today. ``I was wrong about it.″

Miceli said his motivation was to protect his family.

``They’re professionals too,″ he said. ``They don’t want to go somewhere and hear, `I heard this and I heard that.‴

Winter Springs police gave this account:

The fight between Miceli and his brother began as an argument at the kitchen table. Richard pushed his brother against a wall, and Dan then hit Richard several times before their mother intervened. Dan was cut at some point during the fight, leaving blood on the kitchen floor.

Richard called police. When an officer arrived shortly after 4:30 a.m., Dan was very angry, smelled of alcohol and kept threatening that he would get Richard later. Dan was taken to a hospital by his father, and Richard was arrested because he was ``the primary aggressor,″ officer Mark Conway said in his report.

No weapon was involved. Conway said he couldn’t determine how Dan Miceli was cut.

The Marlins said Miceli’s fabricated story won’t affect his status with them.

``It’s over and done with,″ manager John Boles said. ``Forgive and forget. I understand why it did it. That’s not to say it’s acceptable or that I condone it, but I understand.″

With his hand taped, Miceli threw softly during workouts Tuesday. The stitches are expected to be removed next week.

Miceli, the Marlins’ most prominent offseason acquisition, was obtained in November from San Diego for pitcher Brian Meadows. Miceli’s $1.5 million salary ranks third on the team behind Alex Fernandez and Cliff Floyd.